03/20/2015, 00.00
IRAQ - UN - ISIS
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UN accuses ISIS of genocide against Yazidis

An investigation by the United Nations human rights office found a "manifest pattern of attacks" by ISIS on Yazidis as well as Christians and other minorities. Captured women and children were treated as "spoils of war," raped or sexually enslaved. Human Rights Watch found that Iraqi soldiers and militias looted Sunni property in the city of Amerli after expelling ISIS.

Geneva (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The International Criminal Court (ICC) should try the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) for possible acts of genocide against Iraq's Yazidi minority.

In a report based on interviews with more than 100 alleged victims and witnesses, the United Nations Human Rights Council found "information that points to genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes".

In view of this, the Security Council should "consider referring the situation in Iraq to the International Criminal Court" for prosecution of perpetrators.

Findings include a "manifest pattern of attacks" by ISIS on Yazidis as well as Christians and other minorities as it laid siege to towns and villages in Iraq.

Captured women and children were treated as "spoils of war," and often subjected to rape or sexual slavery, the report said.

It also found that ISIS's Islamic sharia courts in Mosul had meted out cruel punishments including stoning and amputation. In one case, "Thirteen teenage boys were sentenced to death for watching a football match".

UN investigators cited allegations that ISIS had used chlorine gas, a prohibited chemical weapon, against Iraqi soldiers in the western province of Anbar in September.

On Wednesday, Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued a report accusing the Iraqi military and militias of "war crimes." In it, it said that Iraqi militias, volunteer fighters and Iraqi security forces engaged in the deliberate destruction of civilian property in the town of Amerli after forcing out ISIS fighters.

In a 31-page report, the international rights watchdog presented eyewitness testimony as well as satellite imagery and video footage that purportedly showed how militias had deliberately "looted property of Sunni civilians who had fled fighting, burned their homes and businesses, and destroyed at least two entire villages."

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